Kathryn Collins, one of the pillars of the McDuffie County School System, will be retiring July 31, according to information at the school board planning session April 12.
"She will be greatly missed," said former superintendent of schools Ed Grisham, who worked with Dr. Collins for eight years before his recent retirement.
"She is a wonderful person and is extremely energetic and efficient," said Dr. Grisham. In addition, she has had a key role in increasing academic achievement in the schools and providing leadership for a number of critical issues, he said.
As assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, Dr. Collins is responsible for the format of classroom instruction in the McDuffie County public schools and ensures what is taught is aligned with Georgia Performance Standards from the Georgia Department of Education.
As part of the focus on student achievement, Dr. Collins monitors enormous amounts of data on testing and oversees grant applications for enrichment programs, all of which contribute to school improvement and helped land McDuffie County on a short list of systems in Georgia that had every school achieving "Adequate Yearly Progress" under the rigorous national guidelines of the No Child Left Behind Act this year.
McDuffie County was one of just nine systems of similar size in Georgia to make AYP, putting it among the top five percent in the state, according to Superintendent Mark Petersen.
Also this year, the high school posted its highest SAT score in five years, showing an increase of 19 points over last year.
In addition, the strong academic position of the school system enabled it to seek district accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in December, an honor reserved for systems meeting the highest levels of educational quality.
Dr. Collins was not available for comment Tuesday. Check next week's edition of The McDuffie Mirror for full details.